An Arizona firm says if City Hall agrees, it can turn Houston’s contentious red-light camera system back on by Aug. 1, eight months after voters rejected the surveillance operation in an election.
American Traffic Solutions also pledged to work for “a mutual resolution” on damages it is owed for shutting down the system before its contract with the city expired.
Otherwise, the city can expect a tough court fight as the company has hired notable litigators, including former Texas Supreme Court Justice Tom Phillips.
The comments from executives including George Hittner, general counsel for American Traffic Solutions, are the first full responses by the company since Friday’s federal court ruling that nullified the November citywide vote that shut the system down.
On the one hand, you’ve got an election in which the voters rejected the cameras by a 53-47 margin. On the other hand, you’ve got a federal judge saying that election was illegal and never should have been held. (Insert my usual rant about deciding these things before the damn election.) And you’ve got the camera company saying one way or another, we’re gonna get paid. I don’t know what the next step is right now.
Several people have commented in the previous entry about the city appealing the judge’s ruling. I have not seen this point addressed, so I sent a question about that to the Mayor’s office. They have acknowledged my query but have not gotten back to me with an answer as yet. When they do, I will post an update. I also received a message on Facebook from George Hittner on Monday asking me for my email address, presumably to send me something, but I have not heard anything further from him. As with the Mayor’s office, when he does follow up with me I will post an update.